Johnson rejects the proposal for a new referendum in Scotland: “It is not time to return to that issue”

MADRID, July 6. (.) –

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected a proposal made last week by Scottish Chief Minister Nicola Sturgeon to hold a new independence referendum on October 19, 2023.

“As our country faces unprecedented challenges at home and abroad, I cannot agree that now is the time to return to that question, which was already clearly answered by the people of Scotland in 2014,” he said. Johnson said in a letter to Sturgeon and published by Downing Street.

The British ‘premier’ has pointed out that Scotland, and the whole of the United Kingdom, must commit to giving an “effective response” to the main challenges it faces, such as the increase in the cost of living, support for the National System of Health affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as in giving a clear response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“These are common challenges throughout the United Kingdom, which require our full attention,” said Johnson, who stressed that the population looks to the Scottish and British authorities to work together in their best interest.

“We are cooperating on measures to reduce the cost of living, and I hope that we will soon have the opportunity, together with our colleagues in the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, to discuss further measures at the next Prime Minister’s Council with the government leaders,” he said.

In this sense, the British head of government has valued Scotland’s response to both the health crisis derived from the coronavirus, as well as its “continuous support” for the measures approved by London against Moscow in response to the invasion of Ukraine, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of February.

“On all fronts, we can achieve much more for the people we serve by continuing to work together as partners,” said Prime Minister Johnson, who is today in a delicate situation after the resignation of several senior officials. including ministers.

In fact, Sturgeon has shared the letter from the ‘premier’ on his social network profile, and has questioned whether it can be “one of the last acts” of Johnson as a Downing Street tenant.

Beyond this, the Scottish chief minister has reaffirmed that the country “will have the opportunity to choose independence” in the future, and has shown her confidence that it can be through a referendum in October 2023.

In the event that the plebiscite is not allowed, Sturgeon has asserted that Scotland’s independence will be voted “through general elections”, since “Scottish democracy will not be a prisoner of this or of any prime minister”.

Already last week, when he announced his referendum proposal, Sturgeon assured that he was prepared to negotiate with Westminster the conditions of how the long-awaited referendum should be held, and he relies on the “clear democratic mandate” that the results of the last elections gave him, where the forces that yearn for independence managed to be the majority in Parliament.

In 2014, Westminster granted the relevant powers through the so-called section 30 order, the legal mechanism by which London temporarily transfers the power to legislate a referendum to Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament.

That plebiscite, which had a participation of more than 84 percent, ended with the victory of the ‘no’, with 55.3 percent of the votes, while support for independence achieved 44.7 percent .

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